By nbayliss-Oracle on Jun 24, 2015
SQL Plan Management (SPM) is an Oracle database feature that allows you to establish a set of SQL execution plans that will be used even if the database is subject to changes that would otherwise cause execution plan changes to occur. For example, you might have an end-of-day batch run that operates in a business context where there are extreme peaks and troughs in daily volume, or perhaps you are upgrading a database and want to be sure that plans are carried over (at least initially). You do not have to fix execution plans in stone with SPM, you can use plan evolution to automate the process of finding improved plans, improving performance in a controlled way and at your own pace. If you’re not familiar with SPM, a very good place to start is to take a look at Maria Colgan’s four-part blog post on the subject. It gives you all the tools you need to get started.
If you are using SPM in Oracle Database 11gR2 or 12c, or if you are considering whether you should use it, then this blog post is for you. I decided to publish this post because I recently encountered a couple of environments that ran into, let’s say, “difficulties” with SPM when capturing SQL plan baselines automatically and continuously over a very long period of time (more than a year in fact). I’d like to give you a few pointers to avoid running into the same problems and why automatic SQL baseline capture was never intended to be used in that way.